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Friday, Feb 06, 2004

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Krishna offers sops for farmers

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The Karnataka Chief Minister, Mr S.M. Krishna, arriving at the Vidhana Soudha to present the Budget estimates for the year 2004-05 on Thursday. — G.R.N. Somashekar

Bangalore , Feb. 5

THE Chief Minister, Mr S.M. Krishna, today announced a series of beneficiary measures for farmers in the Budget.

Irrigation pumpset dues would be waived, providing a relief of around Rs 600 crore.

To ease the credit burden of small and marginal coffee growers, the Government has waived interest on crop loans linked to recovery, providing a relief of around Rs 36 crore.

The State has already doled out a relief package of Rs 880 crore for farmers. He said the State has also banned an online lottery scheme.

He also announced setting up of a grameen bank for rural women with an allocation of Rs 50 crore; an Indira Jyothi scheme for members of Stree Shakthi, a self-help group of women, with free cooking gas connection and a single burner stove.

The funds earmarked for the scheme were Rs 35 crore.

Taking note of the farmers' plight because of drought, the Government announced the setting up of a Raitha Sanjivini, an accident insurance scheme earmarking Rs 35 crore to cover the premium of about 1 crore marginal farmers.

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